For years Massoud Rajavi – that supreme egocentric – has tried to bend reality to suit his own version of how the world should be, and when actual manipulation of events has failed, has created myths to invent a reality more suited to his cultic agenda. Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the MEK’s grand vision of itself as the ‘only alternative’ or the ‘main opposition’ and the mythical tale that the MEK will ‘overthrow the Iranian regime in its entirety’. Year after year Rajavi has perpetually pretended, whether to himself or to his followers, that this is a reality. And the myth has depended on the willing suspension of disbelief of world public opinion – or at least a few political pundits – who enjoy such hatred of Iran and Iranians that they are happy to participate in the game; though not without financial recompense of course. 

    In the eighties the MEK used to organise mass demonstrations in Western countries to celebrate its armed struggle. The main event was the anniversary of 30 Khordad (21 June) 1981 when the MEK abandoned its ambition to lead the revolutionary forces and began to oppose the new constitutional government under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini using terrorist tactics. The mass demonstrations in Western countries were popularly supported. But as time passed by and reality impinged on Rajavi’s dream of taking over Iran, instead of bending to reality and adjusting his group’s activities accordingly, he tried to bend reality to reflect his egotistical view of himself in the world. As the MEK’s violence became more and more futile and hence more savage, the demonstrations attracted fewer and fewer actual supporters and instead became more gaudy and showy. As western governments cracked down on the MEK’s illegal and undemocratic activities they were forced to downsize – while inflating advertised attendee figures by the power of ten - and hire (ironically) exhibition halls rather than take to the streets in public. 



    The latest event at Villepinte in Paris on June 23 was such a spectacle. But it was a spectacle of spectacular failure. Probably the most embarrassing event the MEK has yet had to outlive (and Maryam Rajavi has a series of embarrassing public and private gaffes to her name). Most of the VIPs, who had been rounded up to promote the MEK under the false ‘democratic change’ front groups, called in sick after being briefed by government officials where the money was really coming from and that the support was for a terrorist cult. (For future reference, where the word ‘appeasement’ is used, the article/speech/policy was most probably written by the MEK and is shorthand for ‘let’s declare war on Iran’.) 



    The VIPs who did turn up could, quite reasonably, have been expecting to address the ‘tens of thousands of Iranian exiles’ who, the MEK declared, had arrived in a ‘thousand buses from all over Europe’. Pictures from the event, which was held in a salon with a capacity of 10,000 standing, show a very different story. No wonder the MEK has been unable to publish film or photographs from inside the salon. 



    The linked photographs and film were taken by former members who had slipped in unnoticed among the crowd. Several minutes into the film Maryam Rajavi is heard addressing the crowd who are still milling around and clearly disinterested in the performance on the stage. The fervent cheering comes from the actual MEK loyalists ranged in the front few rows. Behind them no one is listening or even sitting down in the places where flags have been placed on every seat for them to wave to create a spectacle to film. The MEK have paid millions of Euros to create the crowd but couldn’t organise them when they arrived. The majority ‘rent-a-crowd’ element of the audience didn’t care much where the money came from or what the event was as long as they enjoyed a free weekend trip to Paris. Even the ever-supportive anti-Iran media could only realistically describe the event as ‘Iranian led’ to disguise the fact that right minded Iranians, inside and outside Iran, actively shun the MEK. 



    Now, how must it have felt for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and former US Senator Robert Torricelli to address this crowd about regime change in Iran. How much is their dignity worth? 



    If the MEK had not held this event it would have been better for them. Even to have a small gathering of their own members and supporters would have looked better, less desperate, less like the failing cult the MEK have become. Rajavi could have spent his money on many more effective means to plead his case for removal of the MEK from the US terrorism list. But although external reality has dramatically impacted on Rajavi’s fortunes, it is the leaking evidence of desperation in the MEK’s internal situation that is the most significant. 



    Unusually this year the MEK’s Photoshopped pictures of the meeting have been sloppily, shoddily perhaps hastily put together; several wide angle pictures concatenated to show a mass audience. But with the blurred join lines obvious on the pictures, the cracks in the MEK’s vision are exposed. And there are more fault lines in the MEK world. 



    Over the past few weeks the MEK has issued several frantic press releases related to the slow, inevitable demise of Camp Ashraf (where Rajavi has defiantly stopped cooperating with the UN and US like a truculent teenager). The significant aspect of these missives is their dire English style and grammatical mistakes. Clearly, just as with the Photoshopped pictures, Rajavi has lost some key personnel inside his organisation and has had to make do with sub-standard replacements to create the means to perpetuate his myths.



    Markedly Rajavi recently lost two of his main Western stalwarts in the UK, Lord Corbett of Castle Vale who died on 19 February this year, and Lord Archer of Sandwell who died on 14 June. Such supporters have, for years, facilitated the MEK’s political lobbying in the House of Lords and of course provided other practical services and support; particularly editing English language documents. Their loss is irreplaceable. And with other Peers creaking with age and MPs subject to the vagaries of elections, Rajavi can only be staring into the well of loneliness. 



    Increasingly lonely too are those who have, for money, positioned themselves as MEK advocates. Anyone who looks beyond the political hype and anti-Iran propaganda will see an increasing disconnect with reality. Due to the internal demand for constant indoctrination the MEK cannot hold back from advertising its ‘martyrs’ – people who die for Rajavi. This week the MEK announced the deaths of two more people in Iraq. More than anything else it is their ages - 55 and 59 – which exposes the age group of MEK residents in Iraq. Those MEK advocates – including those addressing the Paris crowd – who continue to claim that the MEK is an essential force for change in Iran really ought to save their blushes. World public opinion is not blind or stupid. Accept reality and move on.

    Anne Singleton, Middle East Strategy Consultants, June 27 2012

     

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